Parents’ experiences of being abused by their adolescent children: Doctoral thesis from Kerry Clarke

I’m delighted to be able to give the link to the Doctoral Thesis, on adolescent to parent violence and abuse, submitted by Kerry Clarke last year at the University of Hertfordshire, which is now publicly available. The thesis can be accessed here. Kerry is writing from within the Clinical Psychology discipline, and there are some important points made about the dearth of discussion within this field of work, particularly given that such professionals are often ideally placed and trained to support families.

Kerry interviewed a number of families engaged with the Youth Justice Services, to obtain an understanding of the impact of living with abuse on their lives, parenting and emotions. The importance of support for families is a strong feature of the paper, and the difficulties in obtaining professional support until a high threshold has been reached. A number of superordinate themes are discussed: needing to understand, facing and avoiding complex emotions, parenting amidst abuse, and temporality and seeking change. This last is identified as a new angle in the research literature. The use of the Drama Triangle in understanding and interpreting family interaction and involvement of outside services also provides some new insights.

It is anticipated that a version of the paper will be published in the near future within the professional literature. I will add this to the “Reading List” as soon as it is available. Congratulations to Kerry on achieving her Doctorate!

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